September 29, 1999 - by

The Heisman Trophy Leader

Sept. 29, 1999



Peter Warrick Heisman Page


By RICHARD ROSENBLATT

AP Football Writer

A month into the season, and the Heisman Trophy looks like it’s Peter
Warrick’s to lose.

Warrick, Florida State’s flashy wide receiver, has produced some of
the most
exciting plays of the year – from his razzle-dazzle 20-yard TD run against
Louisiana Tech to last Saturday’s 75-yard punt return for a score against
North
Carolina.

Playing for the top-ranked Seminoles (4-0) doesn’t hurt, either, as
Warrick
tries to become the second Florida State player to win the Heisman, college
football’s top individual award. Quarterback Charlie Ward won it in 1993, the
year the Seminoles captured their only national title.

Warrick has 30 catches for 441 yards and one TD, six rushes for 82
yards and
two TDs, and the 75-yard punt return for a score. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound
senior leads the nation in punt returns with a 25.14-yard average, and is 13th
in all-purpose yards with 174.75 per game.

Warrick, though, is far from a shoo-in.

Quarterbacks Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech and Drew Brees of Purdue are
having sensational seasons and either one can step up and win the award,
presented on Dec. 11 in New York.

Warrick, Hamilton and Brees were among the preseason Heisman favorites,
along with Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, so it’s no big surprise they are the top
contenders.

Dayne’s Heisman hopes, however, were sidetracked when he managed just 88
yards – zero in the second half – in Wisconsin’s 21-16 loss to No. 4 Michigan.
Although Dayne needs 1,105 yards in seven games to break Ricky Williams’
year-old career rushing record, his subpar outing against a top team hurt his
Heisman chances.

Dayne is averaging 153 yards per game (612 on 101 carries), but the
Badgers
are 2-2 entering Saturday’s game at Ohio State.

Hamilton, who matched Warrick big play-for-big play in a 41-36 loss on
Sept.
11, has thrown for 687 yards and seven TDs and leads the nation in passing
efficiency (211.3). Against the Seminoles, the 5-10, 190-pound senior threw
for
387 yards and four TDs.

In a 41-10 win over Central Florida on Sept. 18, he became only the
second
Yellow Jackets QB to run and throw for 100 yards.

Brees, a junior, has completed 107-of-172 passes for 1,315 yards and
10 TDs,
and ranks fourth in total offense at 343.2 yards per game. His highlight reel
includes a 99-yard TD pass in last week in No. 11 Purdue’s 31-23 win over
Northwestern. Brees was 32-of-50 for 405 yards and three TDs against the
Wildcats.

Louisville QB Chris Redman, who started out strong with a big game
against
Kentucky, took a Heisman hit in the Cardinals’ 42-21 loss to Oklahoma last
week. Redman has the numbers (118-of-183 for 1,304 yards and 12 TDs), but
playing in Conference USA – not considered one of the tougher conferences –
hurts his chances every time his team loses.

There are other Heisman contenders out there, but entering October it
looks
like a three-man race – Warrick, Hamilton and Brees.

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